USC Opens 2009 Season At MSU Showcase

Aug. 25, 2009

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MSU Showcase - East Lansing, Michigan

Friday, Aug. 28No. 12 USC at Michigan State - 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 29No. 12 USC vs. North Carolina - 12:30 p.m.

No. 12 USC vs. Albany - 5:30 p.m.

All times local to game site

No.	Name	Yr.	Pos.	Ht.	kpg	pct.	dpg	bpg	ppg3	Alli Hillgren	Sr.	L	5-8	---	---	4.16	---	---5	Jessica Gysin 	Sr.	OH	6-1	3.15	.199	2.31	0.47	3.667	Alex Jupiter	So.	OH	6-3	3.24	.200	1.13	0.55	3.738	Lauren Williams	So.	MB	6-4	2.11	.323	0.17	1.04	2.7312	Kendall Bateman	So.	S	5-11	0.05	.250	0.74	2.72 apg21	Kimmee Roleder	Jr.	OPP	6-2	2.21	.209	1.69	0.60	2.7632	Zoe Garrett	Jr.	MB	6-3	1.71	.305	0.61	0.90	2.41*2008 stats

LOS ANGELES -- The No. 12 USC women's volleyball team opens the 2009 season at the MSU Showcase in East Lansing, Mich. on Friday-Saturday (Aug. 28-29). The Women of Troy will play host Michigan State on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time. USC then plays North Carolina on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern and Albany at 5:30 p.m.

Michigan State Notes
Michigan State returns eight letterwinners from last year's squad that finished 15-16 overall. Head coach Cathy George is 67-60 in her fifth year at Michigan State. The Spartans are led by sophomore outside hitter Kyndra Abron, who was third on the team with 173 kills, and sophomore setter Natalie Emro, who was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team after totalling 1,245 assists and 144 kills. USC is 6-0 all-time against Michigan State with the last meeting taking place in the 2007 season opener at the Galen Center during the Trojan Invitational (USC won, 3-0).

North Carolina Notes
North Carolina returns 10 letterwinners from last year's squad that finished 22-11 overall and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels tied for the ACC championship with a 15-5 mark. Head coach Joe Sagula is 381-246 in his 20th year at North Carolina. The Tar Heels will be led by junior outside hitter Suzanne Haydel and senior middle hitter Heather Brooks. USC is 1-0 all-time against North Carolina with the only meeting taking place in Long Beach for the Trojans' season opener in 1999.

Albany Notes
Albany returns nine letterwinners from last year's squad that finished 23-9 overall and won the America East Conference championship with a perfect 12-0 mark. Head coach MJ Engstrom is 23-9 after one season at Albany. Assistant coach Kimi Freeburg played at USC (2003-06) and was a member of the Women of Troy's national championship team in 2003. The Great Danes are led by senior middle blocker/right side Hillary White (1.89 kps, 0.90 bps in 2008) and sophomore libero Laurie Gonzalez (4.02 dps, America East Conference Defensive Specialist of the Year). This is the first-ever meeting between USC and Albany.

On The Net
All USC home matches this season will be broadcast on usctrojans.com, courtesy of TrojanTV All-Access. There is a monthly subscription fee in order to watch the webcast.

The Power of the Pac-10
Six Pac-10 teams are ranked among the top 14 in the 2009 CSTV/AVCA preseason poll (the most among any other conference), including No. 4 Washington, No. 5 Stanford, No. 6 California, No. 9 UCLA, No. 12 USC and No. 14 Oregon.

Sister Act
For the first time in USC volleyball history, two sisters are playing on the team. Senior libero Alli Hillgren is being joined this season by her freshman sister, Carolyn.

Family Ties
Four Women of Troy players have major ties to the USC men's volleyball program. Freshman defensive specialist Erin Yoder's father, Bob, was a three-time All-American and played for the USC men's volleyball program from 1976-79. He would later become head coach for the men's team in 1982, leading USC to five Final Fours and the 1988 national championship. Junior setter Mychaela Miller's father, Todd, played for USC in 1981-82 (under head coach Bob Yoder in 1982). Sophomore defensive specialist Paige Obradovich's father, Steve, played at USC from 1975-77 and was a member of the 1977 national championship squad as well as a long-time player on the AVP Tour. Junior setter Kelly Irvin's uncle, Gene, played on the 1980 national championship squad.

We Meet Again
Kelly Irvin and Audrey Eichler both played college volleyball against each other in 2007. Irvin played for Virginia while Eichler played for Boston College.

Court of Dreams
The dream finally became reality on Oct. 12, 2006 as the brand-new Galen Center made its debut. The 10,258-seat arena is located on the corner of Figueroa St. and Jefferson Blvd., adjacent to the USC campus. The arena is named after Lou and Helene Galen, who generously donated $50 million towards the project.

USC mourned the loss of Lou Galen, who passed away on Nov. 12, 2007, at the age of 82.

Statapalooza
-- USC became the 22nd program in the nation to record 800 wins. The Women of Troy recorded its 800th win on Nov. 15, 2008, against Arizona State.
-- Head coach Mick Haley earned his 200th victory as USC's head coach on Nov. 1 against Oregon State at the Galen Center.
-- USC is 37-3 all-time at the Galen Center.
-- Alli Hillgren needs 25 digs to tally 1,000 career digs and 75 to break into a tie for 10th on USC's all-time list with 1,050 (Yleana Carrasco, 1986-89).

Family Gysin
It took two years before USC fans could witness the exploits of senior outside hitter Jessica Gysin (Los Gatos/St. Francis HS). Hailed as one of the top high school players in 2004, Gysin battled injuries in her first two seasons. She sprained her ankle in 2004 and suffered a left knee injury in 2005. In the summer of 2008, Gysin received a sixth year of eligiblity. Along with playing her final season of collegiate volleyball, Gysin will receive her master's degree this season.

Last season, Gysin earned Volleyball Magazine All-America second team honors to become USC's 30th All-American. She had 334 kills (3.15 kps) with 245 digs (2.31 dps) and 47 blocks (0.47 bps), including 25 solo blocks while earning All-Pac-10 Conference honors, the first time she received the honor. On Dec. 6, she became the 16th player in USC history to reach the 1,000-kill mark in her career and posted double-digit kills in 12 of 13 matches from Oct. 11 through Nov. 22.

She opened the 2008 season with 11 kills and seven digs against No. 7 Nebraska on Aug. 31 at the Runza/AVCA College Showcase in Omaha, Neb. She was named to the Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational all-tournament team (Sept. 4-6) after posting double digit kills in all three matches, including 16 kills in a 3-1 win against Oklahoma. She led the team in kills (12) in a 3-0 sweep of Ohio State on Sept. 12 at the Galen Center. Gysin was named most valuable player at the West Point Challenge (Sept. 18-19) after recording 23 kills in two matches. She had 13 kills and eight digs against Dartmouth and later that evening, posted 10 kills for a .474 hitting clip (10-1-19) with six digs and a solo block. In the Pac-10 opener against No. 4 UCLA on Sept. 26, she led the Trojans with a team-high 16 kills and recorded 16 digs in the five-set victory. She tallied 16 kills and a season-high 18 digs in a five-set loss on Oct. 11 to No. 10 Washington and recorded a double-double with 14 kills and 11 digs while posting a season-high four blocks (one solo, three assists) on Oct. 19 at Arizona. She had 12 digs and 16 digs while hitting .290 (12-3-31) on Oct. 24 against No. 5 Stanford. Her season-high 18 kills aided the Women of Troy in a five-set upset over No. 4 Cal on Oct. 25 at the Galen Center. She posted 17 kills, 14 digs and a career-high 61 attempts in a five-set win over Oregon State on Nov. 1 and tallied 13 kills, 10 digs and two solo blocks on Nov. 9 in a three-game sweep at Washington State.

She was second on the team in 2007 with 327 kills (3.00 kps) with 219 digs (2.01 dpg) and 54 blocks (0.50 bps). She recorded eight double-doubles during her sophomore season.

She was named to the Gainesville (Fla.) All-Regional Team during the 2007 NCAA Tournament after hitting .368 in matches against No. 13 St. John's and No. 3 Texas. She had 16 kills with three digs, three solo blocks and hit .359 (16-2-39) against St. John's and had 15 kills with two digs while hitting .379 (15-4-29) against Texas.

In her 2006 freshman season, she finished third on the team with 342 kills (3.03 kps) and 401 points (3.59 pps). She was second on the team with 293 digs (2.59 dps).

King Of The Hill
Senior libero Alli Hillgren (Rancho Santa Fe/Francis Parker HS) is one of USC's co-captains this season. On the academic scene, she has been named Pac-10 Conference All-Academic second team two straight years. She begins the 2009 season with 975 career digs and needs 75 to break into USC's all-time Top 10 list.

As a junior, Hillgren played in every match and recorded 449 digs (4.16 dps), 30 assists (0.28 aps) and 16 service aces (0.15 saps) and earned Pac-10 Conference honorable mention recognition. She named to the Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational all-tournament team (Sept. 4-6) after recording 50 digs in three matches (5.00 dps). In a 3-0 sweep of Dartmouth on Sept. 19, she had 18 digs (6.00 dps) and registered 24 digs in a five-set win over No. 4 UCLA on Sept. 26 at the Galen Center. On Oct. 11 in a five-set loss to No. 10 Washington, she recorded a season-high 34 digs (6.80 dps). She recorded 25 digs in a four-set win on Oct. 17 at Arizona State and posted 18 digs in four sets on Nov. 21 at No. 2 Stanford. She tallied 15 digs in a 3-0 loss on Nov. 28 at No. 10 UCLA.

She recorded 508 digs (4.38 dpg) as a sophomore, playing in every match.

She had a career-high 36 digs (7.20 dps) on Oct. 26, 2007, against No. 9 Cal and followed it with 26 digs (6.50 dps) against No. 3 Stanford. She had 31 digs in a four-game win against No. 9 UCLA on Nov. 2 at the Galen Center. Against No. 5 Washington on Nov. 16, she posted 26 digs in the five-game victory.

In the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament against Pepperdine, she had 20 digs in a three-set sweep. She had one ace and 26 digs in last night's five-game win over St. John's. In the five-set loss to Stanford in the NCAA Final Four, she tied a season high with two service aces and added 34 digs.

As a defensive specialist in 2006, Hillgren played in 24 matches. She recorded four service aces (0.11 sapg) and 18 digs (0.47 dpg) overall and registered a season-high five digs on Aug. 25, 2006, against North Texas.

Out Of This World
Sophomore outside hitter Alex Jupiter (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Redondo Union HS) had a strong freshman season, registering 350 kills (3.24 kps) with 12 service aces (0.11 saps), 122 digs (1.13 dps), 59 blocks (0.55 bps) and 403.0 points (3.73 pps). She was named to the Pac-10 Conference All-Freshman Team. Jupiter recorded double digit kills in 20 matches and became the third freshman at USC since 1981 to lead the team in kills (Tracy Clark in 1982 and April Ross in 2000).

She had her coming-out party at the Runza/AVCA Showcase against No. 4 Texas and No. 7 Nebraska. Jupiter, who was a 2008 Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection, led the Trojans in kills for both matches with 17 against the Longhorns and 12 against the Huskers. She also had 13 digs and four service aces on the weekend.

She was named most valuable player at the Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational (Sept. 4-6) after totaling 48 kills in 10 sets (4.80 kps) while hitting .367 for the tournament (48-12-98). She had one assist, three service aces, 10 digs, seven blocks (five solo, two assisted) and 57 points (5.70 pps).

During the West Point Challenge (Sept. 18-19), she was named to the all-tournament team after recording 34 kills in three victories. She led the Trojans with 17 kills, hitting .438 (17-3-32) with six digs and three blocks in a 3-0 sweep of host Army on an ESPNU national telecast.

Her first collegiate double-double came on Sept. 26 against No. 4 UCLA with 15 kills and a season-high 15 digs in the 3-2 victory. She had 10 kills and hit .320 with seven digs in a 3-0 sweep of Washington State on Oct. 10 and posted 19 kills and 10 digs in a five-set loss to No. 10 Washington the following night.

She had 15 kills and four blocks against No. 7 Oregon on Oct. 31 and followed that with a season-high 20 kills and three blocks (two solo) in a five-set win against Oregon State. Jupiter hit .364 (10-2-22) with 10 kills and two blocks on Nov. 14 against Arizona. She tallied a team-high 12 kills and hit .300 (12-3-30) in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament against No. 6 Hawai'i.

Take The Bait
Sophomore setter Kendall Bateman (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) takes over this season as USC's No. 1 setter.

She appeared in 24 matches in her freshman season and recorded 117 assists on the season (2.72 aps) with two aces (0.05 saps), 32 digs (0.74 dps) and seven blocks (0.16 bps). She had two assists and one dig in her collegiate debut on Aug. 29 against No. 3 Texas at the Runza/AVCA College Showcase in Omaha, Neb. She recorded 10 assists and two digs on Sept. 5 against Hofstra at the Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational. She recorded 10 assists in two sets on Oct. 4 at No. 11 Oregon. At No. 10 UCLA on Nov. 28, she came into the third set and tallied 14 assists, two digs and one block assist. She made her first collegiate start in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Dec. 5 against No. 15 San Diego, recording season-highs in the four-set victory with 25 assists, 10 digs and four blocks. She got the start the next night in the second round against No. 6 Hawai'i and had 16 assists and three digs.

Over the summer, Bateman played for the U.S. Junior National Team, playing at the FIVB World Championship in Mexico. She was a two-time member of the U.S. Girls' National Team, part of the squad that finished 10th at the 2007 FIVB Girls' World Championship in Mexico and a member of the squad that won the 2006 NORCECA championship.

She was a two-time Mizuno/Volleyball Magazine All-American at Mira Costa and led the Mustangs to a perfect 37-0 record and the school's fourth straight state championship in her senior season. She was part of the mythical national championship squads in her junior and senior seasons as named by prepvolleyball.com and named CIF most valuable player in her senior season.

Where There's A Will, There's A Way
Sophomore middle blocker Lauren Williams (Houston, Texas/Stratford HS) is coming off her redshirt freshman season where she earned Pac-10 Conference honorable mention recognition and was named to the Pac-10 Conference All-Freshman Team.

In her first collegiate season, Williams had 209 kills (2.11 kps) with a .323 hitting percentage and a team-leading 103 blocks (1.04 bps) with 15 solo blocks and 88 block assists. She recorded 11 blocks (two solo, nine assisted) in her first two collegiate matches at the Runza/AVCA Showcase against No. 4 Texas and No. 7 Nebraska. She had seven kills along with four blocks (two solo, two assisted) in a 3-1 win against Oklahoma on Sept. 4. On Oct. 3 at Oregon State, she had 13 kills and hit .545 (13-1-22) in the five-set loss against the Beavers. On Oct. 11 in a five-set loss to No. 10 Washington, Williams recorded a season-high 16 kills with six block assists while hitting .462 (16-4-26). She hit .477 in two matches at Arizona State and Arizona (Oct. 17 and 19) and had 13 kills in both matches. Against the Wildcats on Oct. 19, she recorded kills in her first 11 attempts and added six blocks (one solo, five assisted). She recorded 12 kills and eight blocks (one solo, seven assists) in a five-set upset over No. 4 Cal on Oct. 25 at the Galen Center, capping a season-long stretch of five matches with double-digit kills. She had nine kills and six blocks against No. 7 Oregon on Oct. 31, followed by a match with 15 kills and seven blocks against Oregon State. She had a combined 15 kills without recording an error in 30 attempts (.500) in matches at No. 5 Washington and Washington State (Nov. 7 and 9). Williams hit .550 (12-1-20) on Nov. 21 at No. 2 Stanford and followed it with a .455 match (11-1-22) with four blocks at No. 7 Cal.

She played on the 2008 U.S. Women's A2 National Team and played on the 2007 Junior National Training Team.

G-Unit
Junior libero/outside hitter Geena Urango (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS) played in every match last season, recording 36 kills (0.35 kps), 11 assists (0.11 aps), 13 aces (0.12 saps), 158 digs (1.52 dps), five blocks (0.05 bps) and 52.0 points (0.50 pps).

She recorded a season-high nine kills and added two aces and two digs against Hartford on Sept. 18 and posted eight kills and a season-high 14 digs on Oct. 3 at Oregon State. She tallied four kills with six digs and a career-high three block assists on Oct. 4 at No. 11 Oregon. She tied her season high with 14 digs on Nov. 1 against Oregon State. She had a kill and 11 digs in a four-set loss at No. 2 Stanford on Nov. 21.

Urango recorded 112 kills (0.90 kps) and 347 digs (2.80 dpg) in her freshman season, earning All-Pac-10 Freshman Team honorable mention honors. She finished in a tie for sixth place in the Pac-10 Conference with 40 service aces (0.32 saps) and recorded four aces in a match twice (Sept. 1 vs. Mercer and Sept. 15 vs. Purdue).

She recorded 21 digs on Sept. 7 at Utah in a four-game victory and posted a season-high 31 digs in a five-game win on Sept. 14 at No. 20 Ohio State. She had three aces and 10 digs on Sept. 28 at No. 10 Cal. On Oct. 11 against Oregon State, she tallied a season-high 10 kills, hitting .304 in the match and adding nine digs. She posted nine kills in back-to-back matches on Oct. 18 at Washington State and Oct. 19 at No. 5 Washington, recording 19 digs against the Cougars and 10 digs against the Huskies. She recorded a season-high 21 kills, taking 47 swings against No. 9 Cal in a 3-2 win on Oct. 26 at the Galen Center. Urango posted her first collegiate double-double on Nov. 2 against No. 9 UCLA with 17 kills and 12 digs in the 3-1 victory.

She was on the 2008 U.S. Beach Volleyball Training Team for the SWATCH FIVB World Championship. She also played two years for the U.S. Youth National Team (2005-06) and also played on the Junior National Team.

It's Greek To Me
Junior middle blocker Zoe Garrett (Laguna Beach/Laguna Beach HS), whose first name is derived from a Greek word meaning 'life', enters the 2009 season as the lead middle blocker for the Women of Troy.

As a sophomore, Garrett started in all but one match during the season, recording 171 kills (1.71 kps) for a .305 hitting percentage with 19 service aces (0.19 saps), 61 digs (0.61 dps), 90 blocks (0.90 bps) and 241.5 points (2.41 pps). She tallied six kills, six digs and four blocks in a 3-1 win on Sept. 4 against Oklahoma and hit .455 (5-0-11) with two assists, one dig and one block in a 3-0 sweep on Sept. 12 against Ohio State. She tied her previous best of nine blocks on Sept. 18 against Hartford with one solo block and eight block assists in the 3-0 victory at the West Point Challenge, also tied a season high with three service aces. On Sept. 19, she had six kills and two blocks while hitting .385 (6-1-13) against Dartmouth and later hit .417 with no errors (5-0-12) and tying a season-high three aces against Army. In the Pac-10 opener against No. 4 UCLA, she had nine kills and hit .400 (9-1-20) in the five-set win with six digs and five blocks. In a 3-0 sweep of Washington State on Oct. 10, she tied her career high with 13 kills, hitting .476 (13-3-21) in the process. She had nine kills and eight digs on Oct. 17 at Arizona State and followed with nine kills, six digs and four blocks on Oct. 19 at Arizona. She recorded nine kills and seven blocks while hitting .438 (9-2-16) in a five-set win on Oct. 25 over No. 4 California and hit .389 (8-1-18) with eight kills, four assists, two digs and two blocks in a 3-0 sweep over Arizona State on Nov. 15. She tied her season and career highs with 13 kills and nine blocks on Dec. 5 in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament against No. 15 San Diego and hit a season-high .478 (13-2-23) against the Toreros in the four-set win.

Garrett received All-Pac-10 Freshman Team honorable mention honors in 2007 after recording 210 kills (1.81 kps average) and 118 blocks (1.02 bps avg) while hitting .262. A 10-kill performance came on Oct. 18 at Washington State where she also registered a season-high nine blocks (one solo, eight assisted).

Garrett had six blocks in back-to-back wins against No. 5 Washington and Washington State on Nov. 16 and 17 at the Galen Center. She recorded six block assists and one solo block on Nov. 23 at Arizona. In the Trojans' five-game win on Dec. 1 against No. 25 Long Beach State in the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament, she had 12 kills with five assists, eight blocks and three digs while hitting .526 in the match (12-2-19). She posted seven kills and seven blocks on Dec. 7 in the Gainesville (Fla.) Regional against No. 13 St. John's and four kills (no errors) and two blocks the following night against No. 3 Texas.

You're Like Butter...'Cause You're On A Roll
Junior outside hitter Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena/Pasadena HS) played in every match as a sophomore last season, recording 239 kills (2.21 kps) with 25 service aces (0.23 saps), 183 digs (1.69 dps) and 65 blocks (0.60 bps). She earned Pac-10 Conference honorable mention recognition.

On Sept. 4, 2008, against Oklahoma, she had 14 kills with six digs and two aces and the next night against Hofstra, she posted 10 kills with three aces and six digs. She hit .474 on Sept. 12 against Ohio State (9-0-19) with two assists, two aces and four digs in the 3-0 sweep. At the West Point Challenge on Sept. 19, she had 10 kills and hit a season-high .692 (10-1-13) with three digs and one block against Darmouth. Later that evening on an ESPNU broadcast at Army, she had six kills and no errors for a .600 hitting night (6-0-10) with four digs and a block assist. In the Pac-10 opener against No. 4 UCLA, she registered a double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs. At Oregon State on Oct. 3, she led the Trojans with 15 kills, hitting .306 in the match (15-4-36). She recorded a career-high six blocks (all assists) on Oct. 25 against No. 4 Cal and had a season-high 17 kills on Oct. 31 in a five-set win over No. 7 Oregon, hitting .382 (17-4-34) with three digs and two blocks. On Nov. 15 against Arizona State, she tied for the team lead with 14 kills and hit .407 (14-3-27), adding eight digs and one block.

She made 10 starts in 26 matches as a freshman, recording 195 kills (2.71 kps) with 118 digs (1.64 dps) and 40 blocks (0.56 bps). She recorded her first collegiate double-double on Sept. 1, 2007, with 17 kills and 14 digs in a 3-0 sweep of Mercer. In her first career Pac-10 match, Roleder had a season-high 18 kills and hit .469 (18-3-32) in a 3-0 sweep of Arizona State. She hit .316 on Sept. 28 at No. 10 Cal, recording 18 kills with seven digs and two solo blocks.

Roleder played last summer on the 2008 Women's A2 National Team and was a member of the 2007 U.S. Junior National Team that finished fourth at the Junior World Championship. She was the fifth-best spiker, recording 60 kills and a .389 hitting percentage and finished seventh overall among all players in scoring with 76 points.

New Kids On The Block
The USC program has added four newcomers for the 2009 season, headlined by junior transfer setter Kelly Irvin (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Marymount HS/University of Virginia). Irvin played two seasons at Virginia, making 14 starts in 31 matches last season for the Cavaliers.

The three freshmen are outside hitter/opposite Katie Fuller (Olivenhain, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS), who was a Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 Freshman, defensive specialist Carolyn Hillgren (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif/Francis Parker HS) and defensive specialist Erin Yoder (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente HS).

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